Father Knows Best

Joshua 16-18

why God gives

Both in Chapters 16 and 17, once again the Israelites did not expel all the peoples in the land that they took, which would again cause trouble down the road.  Oh how much better our lives would be if we always did what God wanted us to do.

 

Our good, good Father has very wise reasons for the things He asks us to do and asks us not to do. As a parent myself, I have had to put certain rules in place for our boys that they did not understand as being beneficial to them at the time.  But later they understood.  For example, in Leviticus, God outlined a number of regulations for His people.  I am confident many of those regulations did not make complete sense at the time, namely the regulations dealing with unclean foods, dealing with mildew, etc.  We know now that those regulations have enormous benefits for people.  The only explanation for those regulations being recorded at that time, long before scientists understood the “why” behind them, was an all knowing God who was loving enough to pass them on to His people.

 

Scripture is filled with great Fatherly expectations for how we can best lead our lives.  This is both for our own benefit, as well as for the benefit of others.  And of course it honors God as well.  Such expectations include honoring our parents, keeping our marriages pure, and helping others.

 

What an amazing God we serve.  A God that not only created us, but also provided us a guide that helps us to know the best way to live our lives, in ways that we maybe would have never even considered.  And certainly in ways that go against culture, and even our own nature at times.

 

 

Encouraging verse of the day:

Psalm 29:11

May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!

 

Greg Landry

 

You can read or listen to today’s Bible passage at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+16-18&version=NIV

Tomorrow’s passage will be Joshua 19-21 on our adventure through the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

Rewards, Consequences, and Follow-Through

Deuteronomy 28-29

Deut 28 1 NIV

We’re spending the week looking for principles in Deuteronomy that we can apply to modern believers.  Chapters 28 and 29 are nothing if not a striking lesson in believing God’s warnings and preparing us for end times.

In yesterday’s devotion, we thought about how moms spend a few minutes in the car before going somewhere, reminding their kids about the expectations and what consequences might ensue should they not meet those expectations.

As a parent, I found that being specific in these kinds of discussions mattered a lot.  Consistency also mattered.  If I promised a reward or consequence, it was important to follow through.

These chapters in Deuteronomy are the car discussion.

The follow-through can be found in books like Jeremiah, 2 Kings and the end of 2 Chronicles.  Honestly, we find almost word for word the exact things that God told them would happen…happened!  Hundreds of years after they were promised.

It’s not enough to be awed that God is the perfect parent…consistent in all he does.  We should be called to attention that as modern believers, we are living in a time between car discussion and follow-through…if you know what I mean.

Lord, make us ready for your kingdom

Prophecies about the end times are not my personal area of interest when it comes to Biblical study.  But I am reminded in this passage that understanding what to watch for is important.  It’s also gravely important for me to know what God’s expectations are for my life so that I can be counted among those blessed on that day.

God also reminds us that there’s no charming, schmoozing, or faking your way in, either.

Deuteronomy 29:19-21 describes a person who positions themselves among believers and invokes the blessing on themselves while thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way.”  We’re told that this person will be not only punished, but singled out for disaster.

Yikes!

Tomorrow’s reading offers more in the way of promises that we can see fulfilled in history, and that we have hope for future fulfillment of as well.  In the meantime, as we think about how we can prepare for Christ’s return and our place in the Kingdom, soak in these beautiful words from the end of chapter 29:

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”

Susan Landry

 

Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+28-29&version=NIV

Tomorrow’s Bible reading will be the Deuteronomy 30-31 as we continue the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan

 

Reminder!


Deuteronomy 24-27

Deut 26 17 NIV

Continuing in our search for principles we can apply to modern believers found in the instructions that God gave to the Israelites, we’re going to pause in chapters 26 and 27.

At the end of Deuteronomy 26, we find an exchange that reminds me somewhat of marriage vows.  Here’s what it says,

“You have declared this day that the LORD is your God and that you will walk in his ways, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws, and that you will obey him.  And the LORD has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands.  He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame, and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised.”

How lovely.

I can picture the minister, looking down at the loving couple and announcing to all gathered, “You have declared here in the presence of these witnesses…..I now pronounce you man and wife.”

Perhaps we need a similar declaration at baptisms?  Or maybe just a reminder for the church body now and then…Hey church, remember what you promised God?  Remember the contract you made with him?

Reminders of expectations

Another reminder that we see in chapter 27 tickles me a bit.  Just before entering the Promised Land, Moses instructs the Levites to stand on a mountain and recite curses to all the people.  A reminder of the consequences of the things God told them not to do. Eleven “cursed is the man who” statements that they shouted at the people.

Now, to be fair, they also blessed the people.  But in this chapter, only the curses are recorded.

What tickles me is that, as a mom, I can remember sitting in the car before taking my kids somewhere and reminding them of the expectations.

“There will be no….”

“Don’t even think about…”

“I expect you to…”

Moms everywhere know that kids that are prepped immediately before an activity are far more likely to behave than those that are maybe just reminded of expectations at random times.  Being reminded of the consequences of not following directions keeps those expectations in our mind as we enter the situation.  God knows that we are the same.

Perhaps this would be helpful to us in our daily lives as well.  Reminding ourselves of the expectations God holds for us, especially before entering possibly tempting or difficult circumstances, could help to keep us on the narrow path.

We’re going to read more about blessings and curses tomorrow.  Stay tuned…

 

Susan Landry

 

Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+24-27&version=NIV

Tomorrow’s reading will be Deuteronomy 28-29 as we continue the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan